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Promoting gender equality through the use of management control systems: a case study in Japan

Shima Nagano (School of Business Administration, Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan)
Masahiro Hosoda (College of Business, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 5 December 2022

Issue publication date: 19 June 2023




This study examines how formal and cultural management control systems (MCSs) are used to support the promotion of gender equality through a case study of a Japanese bank.


A case study was adopted to investigate the use of formal and cultural MCSs in promoting gender equality. Primary data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with managers experienced in promoting gender equality. Then, the data were analysed by reading the interview answers repeatedly and coding interviewees' comments to generate themes.


The findings indicate that both formal and cultural MCSs can be critical aspects in promoting gender equality. The use of cultural MCS fostered norms and cultures over time that enhances the process of formal MCS to achieve gender equality. Formal MCS was also designed and utilised under the constructed norms and cultures to promote gender equality. Furthermore, the use of formal MCS contributes to shaping norms and cultures that encourage gender equality by controlling and discussing the process of promoting gender equality.


This study clarifies how formal and cultural MCSs can be used to promote gender equality, which is an unresolved issue in Japanese companies. Mechanisms for companies in male-dominated societies are also provided to promote gender equality in terms of MCSs.



Funding: This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 17 K13826 and 22K01795.


Nagano, S. and Hosoda, M. (2023), "Promoting gender equality through the use of management control systems: a case study in Japan", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 1274-1297.



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